Spring is here! Well, sort of…Much of the East Coast is still waiting on the warm weather to arrive and stay. Chess players spend countless hours in hotel ballrooms, church basements, and a variety of other indoor settings. Not to mention all the players who stay glued to their computer screens watching and playing chess.
Personally, I have always enjoyed playing chess outdoors in parks around the country. There is something about being outside in the sun, all walks of life passing by, the noises coming from the street, and your opponent talking a little trash while you are trying to find your next move that brings joy and excitement. The “park-player” or “street-player” has just as much passion for the game as the serious tournament player, but they just choose a different studio to express their art. Some play for money, some just casually, but the social benefits of playing people from all walks of life is where the real joy is found! I have played millionaire real-estate investors, as well as people who are homeless and do not know where they will find their next meal in an afternoon. Young and old congregate to share in the great equalizer we call chess! I want to encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy the game we all love!
That is me on the left battling the legendary “Russian Paul” at Union Square in NYC. Russian Paul was in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer playing at Washington Square Park. Russian Paul has been playing in the parks of NYC since the late 80’s, and is still at it today!
Russian Paul with his signature cigarette answering a question.
Russian Paul again on the right battling the great GM Dzindzichashvili. This is probably from the 90’s. Photo: Raphael D’Lugoff
IM Josh Waitzkin on the left battling at Washington Square Park! Photo: Raphael D’Lugoff
GM’s Dlugy and Hess with IM Lapshun
Even GM’s, IM’s, and other titled players cannot resist the nice weather! The above photo was taken at the annual Chess in the Park hosted by Chess in the Schools held every year in beautiful Central Park.
Bryant Park in New York City
Harvard Square in Boston. Photo: Daaim Shabazz
Saint Louis Chess Club. Photo: Eric Rosen
The Saint Louis Chess Club hosts the biggest events and players on American soil knows the importance of getting outside! Right outside of the chess club they have several tables where the community can gather to play.
Dupont Circle in full swing!
If you are from the DMV area like myself, then Dupont Circle is the place to catch an outdoor chess game. When the weather is nice you can find players there day or night pushing pieces, and hitting the clock.
On the move! NYC came down to Dupont Circle to challenge the DC players.
Now that the nice weather is here – take a break from the indoors and take your chess outside! Please leave some photos of you playing chess at your favorite outdoor spot, and leave a comment!